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4.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately not as perfect as "Discover America", 16 Aug. 2012
On this album the formidable Mr Parks is expanding from the Caribbean approach he took with "Discover America" and explores more arcane Americana on an album that ranges from New Orleans to the islands and to a cover of a "classical hit". Mr Parks' exuberant, eclectic musical personality is the unifying force in a collection of music that varies from the Sandpipers' "Another Dream" via a "Tribute To Spree" (for the mythical steel pan pioneer) to Pachelbel's "Canon in D."
Unfortunately the 'Klang' (sound) of "Clang of the Yankee Reaper" is spoilt - to a point - by being drenched in horrible synthesized strings (a fashion at the time of production and obviously cheaper than the real ones). Parks' voice is certainly more full, and the songs are far more streamlined and "Pass That Stage" is the only song that has really slipped back into the effortless groove of "Discover America". But I still cherish this album and I still hope he will remix it one day to the perfection it deserves and leave these annoying strings out of the mix.
I certainly would recommend to start with "Discover America" and then proceed to this album and "Song Cycle", which is more an intellectual undertaking and doesn't provide the same amount of fun and exuberance. Another hot recommendation not only for the summer is "Hot and Sweet" by the Mighty Sparrow, which was produced by Van Dyke Parks 1972.
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Clang Of The Yankee Reaper
Clang Of The Yankee Reaper by Van Dyke Parks
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